Empowerment as one means of using Thames’ theory of managing change

Today, the efficient management style is an essential condition of the overall success of organizational performance. Modern companies and organizations are very concerned with the development of efficient management styles, especially, when they need to introduce changes in their businesses. In fact, the introduction of change within an organization raises a number of problems, which managers cannot always solve on their own and they need the cooperation and assistance from the part of employees. In such a context, the empowerment can be an efficient tool with the help of which managers can maximize the efficiency of their management style, work of employees and overall organizational performance.

In actuality, traditional management styles turn out to be of a low efficiency in the time of consistent technological and socioeconomic changes. The emergence of the new, post-industrial society poses new challenges companies need to overcome and these changes affect consistently not only the organizational structure, workplace environment, but also the management style. In fact, it is impossible to maximize the efficiency of work of employees using such conservative management styles as authoritarian one. Today, it is necessary to use new tools which can encourage employees to work more efficiently and productively and, what is more important, employees need to feel their significance for the organization at which they work. They need to understand their role in their organization and their contribution in the organizational performance. In such a way, they will feel their responsibility and they will motivated to work better.

At the same time, to meet this goal, mangers need to make their employees feel that the company or organization does trust the employees and rely on them. Therefore, managers need to empower their employees and grant them larger opportunities to develop and implement their ideas, initiatives, innovations in their professional work (Schein, 164). In this respect, it is important to lay emphasis on the fact that the empowerment of employees is an essential condition of their innovative activities and their high motivation because empowerment gives employees the sense of freedom and importance which used to be annihilated in organizations with authoritarian management style, or where the autonomy and initiative of employees were severely oppressed.

In actuality, the empowerment of employees primarily leads to the enlargement of the autonomy of employees and, simultaneously, it increases their responsibility. In fact, in the contemporary business environment, it is extremely important to grant employees larger autonomy and relative independence of the managing staff (Thames and Webster, 148). To put it more precisely, the contemporary business environment is vulnerable to consistent changes which influence the organizational performance and organizational structure as well as relationships within modern organizations. In such a situation, managers cannot introduce changes efficiently or respond to changes in the business environment adequately without the assistance and cooperation of employees. Consequently, managers need to empower employees in order to encourage their initiative and grant them independence. The independence or autonomy of employees is extremely important because, in such a way, employees are able to act independently of their managers. Therefore, they can respond to challenges in their work faster and, thus, more efficiently. Instead, the lack of autonomy leads to the bureaucratization of the organizational structure because employees need to follow the lead of their managers, being totally deprived of autonomy (Peters, 219). As a result, when they confront some problems in their work, for instance in relationships with customers, they cannot find the solution of these problems.

To put it more precisely, they need the approval or order of managers to undertake steps which can help to solve these problems.

In this respect, it is worth mentioning the fact that autonomy of employees, which is achieved through empowerment of employees, leads to the development of the initiative of employees. In fact, employees can take decisions independently of their managers, if such decisions can help to solve problems which naturally emerge in the course of their work (Schmitt and Simonson, 234). Through the empowerment of employees, managers can focus entirely on their duties and managerial functions, while employees can focus on their work and, what is more, they can take decisions which improve the efficiency of their work. As a result, the organization can benefit from the optimization of the work of its personnel since each professional employed within the organization is entirely focused on his or her professional duties and functions.

In addition, the initiative of employees is encouraged through the empowerment of employees. What is meant here is the fact that, when managers empower their employees, they encourage them to take decisions on their own (Mohrman, 189). Consequently, employees are not waiting for orders from the part of managers. Instead, they look for options to improve their work using their own knowledge, professional skills and abilities. Hence, employees have larger opportunities to implement their own ideas and improve their work. In this regard, the main task of managers is to keep employees motivated to work better.

At the same time, the initiative of employees, which results from the empowerment of employees, naturally contributes to the introduction of innovations within the organization. In this respect, it is important to lay emphasis on the fact that, today, innovations are crucial for the successful marketing performance of modern organizations. It is due to innovations companies can take the leading position in the market and maximize their revenues, while nonprofit and other organizations can optimize their organizational performance and make their functioning consistently more efficient. In fact, innovations focus on the improvement of the current organizational performance and any innovation aims at the change of the work of employees as well as the entire organization for better.

Obviously, the introduction of such changes can be facilitated consistently when they derive from employees. In other words, when employees initiate some changes, such as the introduction of certain innovations, it is much easier for manager to introduce such changes within the organization (Kotter and Cohen, 199). Therefore, the empowerment of employees facilitates consistently the introduction of changes. It proves beyond a doubt that the change which is imposed on employees by managers is likely to face a strong resistance from the part of employees, especially if they do not understand the ultimate goal of the change or if they do not accept the change out of fear of deteriorating of their conditions of work, or other reasons (Wetherbe, 193). Instead, empowered employees are more likely to accept the change because they are free to introduce innovations and often changes are initiated by employees. In other words, they readily accept changes or innovations which they initiated rather than changes imposed on them by the administration of the organization.

As a result, the empowerment of employees leads to the improvement of the work of employees and facilitates the introduction of changes.

On the other hand, the empowerment of employees improves interpersonal relationships between managers and employees that can also facilitate the introduction of changes, even if they are initiated by managers (Viardot, 211). In fact, employees, being granted larger autonomy and empowered, are more confident in their managers because their relationships are constructed on the mutual trust. Hence, employees accept initiatives of managers being aware of the fact that managers will take into consideration the position of employees and accept initiatives and innovations suggested by employees.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the emergence of the empowerment management is a natural effect of the consistent changes in the traditional management style and approaches to management as well as to changes in the business environment. In fact, the empowerment of employees is an efficient tool with the help of which organizations can improve their performance consistently, through the improvement of the efficiency and productivity of employees. The latter is achieved through the provision of employees with the larger autonomy, possibility to take decisions and introduction of innovations. At the same time, the introduction of changes and innovations are possible if they are properly managed and accepted by the personal of the company. In this respect, it is extremely important to ensure efficient control over employees from the part of manager since employees’ autonomy and decisions they take should meet the general strategy of the organization at which they work.

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